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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    September 18, 2012
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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questions. is there any questions from the floor? >> i want to talk about the public outcry, i think we're seeing to an extent some of that on things like chemicals issues, i guess my question is, what is that threshold? how much public outcry do you need? what's the bar, i guess is what i'm asking? or isn't there one? >> the question is what's the threshold of public, i guess, outcry that's required to lead to some substantial action on environmental issues. . >> demonstrations and marches.
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the cries is perceived as much more serious and varied than it was in the early 1970's. the principal issues in the 1970's weren't even drinking water hazards, but air pollution and rivers that caught on fire because of oil slicks. and if you look at the variety now of environmental threats worldwide, it should generate far, far more demonstration. these demonstrations are occurring in some third-world countries, such as india, for example, and bolivia but not getting much notice. the second outcry is institution building. it did matter that there are old and new environmental groups regardless of how they're named from wildlife to audobon to the
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newest one, public sit sen -- citizen, green peace, sierra club, of course, those were the watchdogs and had millions of members out there and they are the people who went up to capitol hill and filed groundbreaking lawsuits. we need more of those. the two most recent technologies have no ethical or legal framework on them at the present time. pretty stunning. usually, when there is a new technology, there is a semblance of some kind of regulation. and now we have these two and there are virtually >> there isn't a full-time group
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on nanotechnology. this is an enormous decline in civic infrastructure keeping up with the challenges. and the third outcry are local, state and federal candidates who will run on these issues instead of run away from these issues and i will give you an example that will fit your publication. when the durbin conference was under way, senator inhofe who has called global warming one of the modern history's greatest hoaxes said he is the only one talking about global warming in washington. i called him up and i said, senator, this is quite amazing. don't the democrats talk about global warming? he said no more. i said would you be willing to debate a prominent global
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warming -- anti-global warming advocate in the congress. absolutely. how about yesterday, he said. so i called congressman ed markey, this is almost a year ago, late 2011 and i said congressman markey, would you be willing to debate senator inhofe. and congressman markey said sure. except for april when senator inhofe was promoting his group, somehow congressman markey's people couldn't find a time to debate in front of a media at a major house or senate committee room this issue. and of course, there couldn't have been a more defensive statement by president obama than to say, finally, he didn't mention it in two state of the union speeches, climate change is not a hoax. that's a real aggressive statement. that would have made teddy
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roosevelt proud and jimmy carter. you don't have a political infrastructure on capitol hill and many state legislatures. they are running away from the issue. not time to talk about why, but they are running away from the issue. they're not even criticizing nuclear power. they're cutting deals. not talking about a carbon tax, which corporate knights has written about and in the current issue. those are the three outcries that are necessary. and the never more capable technology and recent breakthroughs on solar and wind power are very impressive and becoming a worldwide industry. and the physical manifestations of our environmental crisis, drought and horrendous storms,
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certainly are perceived as dangerous by everybody who's affected by them. so we live in a peculiar situation of great opportunity and capability, but not great mobilization with the usual exceptions. i don't usually do this, but i remember a prominent scientist once told me 40 years ago we should have fought pollution because it's ugly, not just because it's unsafe. and i'm taken by this young artist for corporate knights, this is his artistic cover, but look at his -- look at his wonderful multi dimensional portrayal of the presidents in the white house. look at this. this is really a work of genius.
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i'm not eastern artistic critic, but this one is a work of genius and see the four presidents. you can actually identify them. so hats off to young mr. dylan and to corporate knights. last quick point. when we were trying to awake people, environmental pollution was considered dirty and considered ugly. people had to thank chair clothes often in one day because of the soot, we changed part of the participation that pollution is a form of violence. it is a deadly form of violence, cancer, lung disease, genetic damage, property damage. i don't think that is emphasized enough. i think we need a new language and we got a taste of that by joe here. we need a new language to convey
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the preventable lethality what is afflicting this small planet, which has a bioatmosphere of only three or four miles high where everything has to sustain itself in. >> you talk about preventable lethality and have we gotten the language wrong so far. when we got people to worry about nuclear holocaust and all kinds of preventable messages that resonated to tens of millions of people. we talk about polar bears and shrinking glaciers, we don't talk about the fact it's going to kill us as a species and biggest threat to us ever.
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do you agree we have shifted the language a little bit? >> very much so, but never underestimate -- the question basically was and maybe we need a more urgent kind of language and not simply concentrate on breaking up glaciers and polar bears. it is remote from the daily life of millions of people. we have to bring it right back into issues of drought, of storms, of famine, invasive species, expansion of malaria. all the things that are going on. and i think if that is done, never again will senator inhofe be on the offensive, but will be on the defensive. and that has to be conveyed. we live in strange times where we have all the evidence and all
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of the manifestations and all the precautionary urgency and can't seem to mobilize people and this happens when you have high unemployment and recession. when you have a fairly stable economy that you can make these forays in terms of regulatory action to do something in terms of the force of law at least. anybody want to add to that? >> on that note, before i conclude this, i want to point out if anyone wants to get the background details of how each organization voted go to www.corporateknights.com. we are not a dating service for corporations. corporateknights.com. thank you very much. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the country faces the starkest, the starkest choice for president in my memory. you see, the president and i have fundamentally different vision than governor romney and congressman ryan and a different value set that guides us. >> under the current president, we are at risk of becoming a poor country, because he looks to government as the great been factor in every life. our opponents have a new motto, they say, quote, government is the only thing that we all belong to.
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i don't know about you, but i have never thought of government as something that i belong to. >> watch and engage with c-span as the campaigns move towards the october debates. the vice presidential candidates will debate once and the presidential candidates will debate three times. follow our coverage on c-span, c-span radio and online at cspan dog >> what they are saying, why they are saying it. beyond that, i like to use c-span as to what is happening in the country. sometimes you get so caught up in the beltway and one of the shows i like to watch is
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washington journal. you have morning interviews and talk about the same topics so i know what conservatives and liberals are thinking about, and make my argument before i walk into the studio doors. >> richard fowler watches c-span, c-span created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you by a public service by your television provider. >> we have been telling you about our live coverage with general james amos and discuss the defense put forward by president obama. it gets under way at 5:30 and to get us there. here is a portion of today's "washington journal."
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guest: 23 million people are unemployed or underemployed. host: those people that are underemployed or unemployed who are on unemployment insurance, is mitt romney talking about those people? guest: my concern is for all the people of america. i want to have equality for all americans. the president is so focused on equal outcome rather than equal opportunity. host: we can show the video that was put out by "mother jones" magazine and the governor responded to it last night and show that to you and our viewers.
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host: your reaction? guest: he said some of his comments were inartful and the president wants to make sure that the country does well and we want success for america. and the government has over the years expanded what services are provided, you know, you look at the numbers of how much money is going out over the years, even adjusting for inflation, more and more and more has gone out. i think we have to have a discussion of legitimate discussion of -- and a thoughtful discussion of entitlements and what role government plays in the lives of the american people and how we pay for that as we have a nation where today, 10,000 americans baby boomers will hit 65 in terms of social security and medicare. so when you have 10,000 people a day joining those ranks of those
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over 65, whether it was yesterday, today, tomorrow, we have to say how do we deal with that -- my mom's turning 90 this year. the year she was born, life expectancy in the united states in 1922 when she was born was 56. and now for a woman, it's 81. over the last 90 years, life spacttanssi has risen 25 years. and how do we as a nation best address that. that is a discussion of being involved in the presidential discussion and debates and i hope we hear that october 3. host: romy -- romney supporters see the campaign in disarray. are you concerned about governor romney's chances of winning in
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november? guest: he is going to win. the economy is in disarray, the president's last four years have been in disarray. the thing that he has done and promoted to become which is now part of the obama economy has not helped. we are at 43 months of unemployment, over 8%. and you take a look at the size of the debt, $16 trillion. we need to get the country back on the right track. host: our previous guest, congresswoman edwards, was talking about the fiscal cliff, negotiations between the house, senate and white house over how to avoid the bush tax cuts from expiring, what should be on the table for spending cuts. the congresswoman said for house democrats, they want to see the payroll tax cut holiday extended, but only for those who
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make less than $250,000, same with the bush tax cuts, extend them for those who make less than $250,000, is that something republicans can compromise on? guest: this is the most do -nothing congress. you would like to see a number of things addressed. we haven't passed a budget last year, this year or the year before. as chairman of the policy committee, i have a paper going out tomorrow, the democrats steer america towards a fiscal cliff. we have voted 65 days this year in the united states senate. there are a number of things. you raise the one about the payroll tax cut, we haven't passed an appropriations bill this year. why is that? harry reid laid it out earlier in "the national journal." forget passing bills, the democrats want to pass the blame
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game. i see this. we haven't figured out if they are going to pay doctors next year. 30% cut. the president says he has extended the life of medicare, only if he lowers what they pay doctors who take care of doctors 30% and freezes that for the next 10 years. for somebody on medicare, they will have a difficult time finding a doctor to take care of them. host: it appears something fleeds to be done. your payroll tax conferee last year agreed to extend the payroll tax cut holiday for another year. are you in favor of doing so again? guest: i voted against the conference committee report. i don't think it's going to be extended this year. we are looking at tax rates going up. death tax coming back in a much more onerous way.
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there is a list, very long and i have a five-page report on all of the different things that haven't dealt with. bob woodward came out with a book that talks about the failure of getting a grand bargain which i was supportive of doing a grand bargain last year. the president failed to lead on that as bob woodward lace out in the beginning of the book. we need presidential leadership and not having it in the white house and not on capitol hill or overseas. host: $125 billion hit to the economy if it's not extended. guest: additional hits with raising taxes on the job creators across the country. they call it the fiscal cliff and why we are talking about a double-dip recession. i was debating howard dean, the former chairman of the democrat
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national committee just a week or so ago and he said he hopes we go over the fiscal cliff. senator murray says she wants us to go over the fiscal cliff. i want to find solutions. host: mike is a republican in north carolina. you are on the air. caller: good morning, senator. we hear so much about you guys, us, the republicans, being obstructionists and to a degree it is somewhat true but never hear the other side of that coin and how many bills has mr. boehner and the republican-held house sent over to the senate that senator reid has not even allowed to go to committee or brought up for debate. he has pretty much killed them. i have heard numbers between 20 and 30, most of these bills being related to taxes, the economy, jobs, so on and so
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forth. you would know the answer to that. guest: a lot of them have to do with american energy, energy security and affordable energy and harry reid continues to block each and every one of them as the article from "the national journal" said that republicans are obstructing measures. this is "the national journal," reid's strategy. 65 days that we voted in the senate this year. and there vm bills, dozens and bills to get americans working again from the xl pipeline, no taxpayers' dollars going into that but tax revenue coming in from all of this and yet the president being held hostage by the environmental extremists has
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blocked it and harry reid has done the president's bidding on capitol hill to prevent those sorts of votes from even being held in the senate. host: will the senate pass the continuing resolution from the house before you all go on vacation again? guest: i believe the senate will pass the continuing resolution. it seems like that will be voted on perhaps as early as tomorrow and it sounds like harry reid again with his do-nothing approach wants to get his 23 senators out there campaigning in their home states, because there are 10 republican seats at risk, 23 democrat seats and harry reid's goal is to get those folks back out campaigning. i would expect that congress is ready or the next day to be finished for the year. host: what is in the continuing
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resolution? guest: allows the government to continue running six months. it spends about a trillion at an annual rate of .047 trillion and it's to fund the government continuing things going because under harry reid's leadership, there hasn't been an appropriation bill this year or a budget this year. it keeps the government functioning until april 1. host: that is the same level of spending as last year. henry, democratic caller. caller: i would like to ask the senator, he commented about the comment that romney made last night. is he aware that his mother that he mentioned earlier that was 90 years old was in that class, 47% that he was talking about?
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guest: david brooks writes about it in the "new york times" and you have that listed here and highlighted. there are americans from all walks of life who have been benefiting from what government has done and the question is, at what point do we have the discussion, which we ought to have now, a thoughtful discussion of what role government plays in the lives of the american people. people at home in wyoming, they want smaller government, not larger, lower taxes, not higher and what's the responsible role of government. people want accountability. they want results, they want solutions and programs that have been very successful over time, you just have to say can we continue those in the way that they are, how do we strengthen those and improve them so those things are there for people who need them. and on the other hand, how do you give more opportunity for people. in this land with the american
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dream that people can continue to pursue their dreams. when i talk to the small business owners all around wyoming, whether that be at a bakery, florist, dry cleaner or a rancher or a farmer, people who did build their businesses and who have worked rehard and those are the people that hire more people, how do we give them confidence to hire more people and get people back to work. host: there is a discussion about tax cuts being raised. senator, you support tax ruts cuts for the rich in 2013, that is extending the bush tax cuts but not for the working class, the payroll tax cut. guest: i support extending the tax cuts and don't raise taxes on people that put people back to work and it's for all of the
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different income ranges. as the president said two years ago, you don't want to raise taxes on the job creators. that was two years ago. the economy isn't any better now than it was then. if the president wanted to extend them, he should want to extend them now as well with unemployment still over 8%. now 43 straight months. host: couldn't you make the same argument for the payroll tax holiday? guest: i believe tax less, broaden the base and have more people working. the way you raise tax revenue overall for the government is you have more people working, more people paying taxes. we have lots of opportunities from an energy standpoint. wyoming is an energy state. and when you are exploring for energy on government land, on federal land, there is more federal taxes that get paid into washington. those are the things that we
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could do to raise overall tax revenue and bring in more money that can help with social security, medicare and other needs. host: angela, independent line from arlington, virginia. caller: i would like to ask one question. i used to be a republican. i'm a ron paul supporter and i honestly think that he is the only gentleman remaining in congress and i'll tell you why. number one, now we have a nominee in the republican party called mitt romney. he made so much money and sends it overseas and wants to start something with china. he wants us to go to war with iran. this is a gentleman who has five sons and not one of them is in the military. and he wants us to go to war with iran. we don't have money to pay for
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these wars. ryan voted for two wars and medicare part d, stimulus, tax cuts and now he is complaining that we're in debt, how did we get there? guest: when we talk about iran and the concerns i have with iran getting nuclear weapons and the issues right now with israel and with iran, i think that the president has sent mixed signals. he says to israel, we have your back. i'm not exactly sure what that means anymore and the people of israel aren't sure. iran continues to move forward, i believe developing nuclear weapons and they are saying they are using it for energy and not weapons and i don't believe them. and we need a red line and a deadline that says to the people of iran, the leaders in iran, that's enough. when folks were protesting in
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the streets in iran, the president stood by silently when he should have been supporting the protestors and many of them has been massacred. his foreign policy is very mixed when you see things -- captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we will hear remarks from general james a.m. oost on the new strategic defense put forward by president obama. >> he is dealing with situations in afghanistan and marines that he had to dispatch quickly, the terrorist teams in the middle east. we know we are facing a huge storm here at home with continuing resolution, which is a straitjacket and followed by strait jacket number two, the sequester, which will have -- there is nothing you can say
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that is to say how bad this is going to be. as former secretary gates outlined yesterday in a talk he made on that subject. so we are in stormy times. and it's good we have a leader as part of the atlantic council's commander series to bring together these high-level leaders to discuss these issues of the day. we have heard from a great air force leader who just left as chief of staff. we have had commander of nato. general martin dempsey, great leaders and looking forward to another one tonight. before i introduce general amos thank dan and the ambassador for their continuing support of this great series. it's always a privilege to introduce a service leader and member of the joint chiefs of
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staff, but when you served with that leader, worked with and known that leader for over three decades, it's a rare privilege. when general james a.m. oost was selected to be the commandant, a number of news reports noted he was the first afe via ator to become commandant. he is not an aviator, but a marine. and everything he has done in the last two years proves that conclusion. before mentioning a couple of his achievements, i can reveal to you tonight and this is not highly classified, his secret weapon. he has a secret weapon, and that is bonnie amos. bonnie is a true partner and leader in her own right. together they are an unbeatable team who care deeply about the marines and their families. let me give you one small capital. carl smith, a great marine corps
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fighter pilot. he started in the navy but trained with jim amos back in 1970. you saw the handwriting on the wall and joined the marine corps and can attest to this. i was company and my son joe, who is a major in the marine corps reserve and we were hanging out. i hear a shout and it was jim and bonnie. they were stationed there at the time and we had a great visit. they could have just kept going and we would have never seen them or known they were in the p.x. they are the most engaged and positive couple you will ever meet. jim has confronted the challenges i mentioned earlier facing the marine corps. he is relentless in trying to reduce the suicides, an effort
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that he started when he was the acting person. he has refused to accept the status quo. and i know that this is an issue that wabse in his heart. when he had to take on a tough procurement issue, which the marines have been developing for decades and been in the pipeline and this was the vehicle to get the marines shipped to shore. he took action and mapped out a more promising alternative. and despite the fact that the joint chiefs or the chief of a service are really no longer officially in the acquisition process, he jumped smack down in the middle of the joint strike fighter and ensured it got back on track. he knew as a marine, not an aviator, that organic close
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report is one of the discriminating features of the marine's ability to succeed. he lives the 88 congress' direction and law that the united states marine corps be the most ready when the nation is the least ready, but he understands that he must accomplish this in a world of increasing threats and decreasing resources. ladies and gentlemen, the 35th commandant of the united states marine corps, my friend, the marine, general james amos. [applause] >> i thought you were going to talk specifically about all the things that are going on in the world and set me up for some hard questions a little bit later on. looking around the room, little bit nervous. i see carl smith in the background. no dirty stories, carl. thank you for the great introduction.
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thank you very much. it's my pleasure to be here. i take every opportunity i can get to tell the marine corps story. tell the marine corps story. when i go to visit them, which is often, i promise when we are standing at the outposts and talking to the young men and women out there, haven't showered or bathed in 30 days that will tell their story and tell their story when we come back. knowing there is no shortage of news out there, i'm going to keep my opening comments here short so i can good -- get to your questions. this is an important time for the military and our nation. students of history and those who can remember back some 50 years ago when the atlantic council was first formed would likely say that period helped shape and define the next 50 years. those of us who grew up in the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's and
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1990's will attest to that. the headlines from our nation newspapers spoke of things like the soviet union flexing its muscles trying to fill a void. talked about the cold war and the soviets threatening nuclear destruction. spoke often of the bay of pigs confrontation and near nuclear war. president eisenhower warned america of the increasing power of the military industrial complex and even john kennedy when he was elected and taking office talked about him sending 18,000 military advisers to vietnam. destructive to remember that in 1961 when the atlantic council was formed, marine corps was 185,000 strong. we are now heading to 182,000 as a result of the budget control act of last fall and the world doesn't seem to be getting any
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nicer. in 1961, the marine corps was assisting famine relief efforts in congo. marines conducted rescue operations in texas and louisiana following the devastation of hurricane carl. some were deployed to guantanamo guantanamo bay to reinforce the base. all the time when our marines were getting their fair hair of introductions to southeast asian the country called vietnam, defining point in our history for sure. similarly, this past week, marines responded to the violent protests that several u.s. embassies in the middle east. fast teams, fleet, anti-trim security teams were on the scene in matters of hours, des ca lating the situation while protecting personnel. this happened in tripoli and in yemen. these events occurred while others who wear the cloth of our
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nation's marine corps continuing to fight counterinsurgency operations. as we gather tonight, there are in excess of 30,000 marines, forward deployed around the world poised, ready to respond to any crisis. for 237 years we have fought our nation's battles, both large and small. we have defeated pirates. we have hunted insurgents. we fought regulars and irregulars, always running to the sound of chaos and always ready to answer america's 911 call. the marine corps serves our nation as its premier nation response course. and it's always been that way. 1952, in the wake of our nation's first year of the korean war, congress defined the
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marine corps as a ready force, highly mobile, always at a high state of readiness, most ready when the nation is least ready and the naval campaign and ground and air striking force were contained. today, we maintain our forces in a high state of readiness, so when the president needs options to answer a crisis, we are able to provide a force that can respond to today's crisis today, not tomorrow, not next week, but today. because of the events in the world are not always clear or easily discernible, our forces provide our leaders with options and time. we create decision space until the required course of action can be determined. we did this in japan after last year's devastating earthquake
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and 600 mile an hour tsunami. they moved into japan flying in helicopters. those air crews flew for 45 days in and out of the radioactive plume of the damaged nuclear reactor while rescuing and providing relief. we did the same 400 miles deep in northern pakistan after the flootsdz. and we sailed on a moment's notice to the coast of libya to enforce the no-fly zone and rescue a downed american pilot. in 2010 after seven tough years we left iraq. and as you know, we are engaged today in afghanistan's hell man province. we come from the sea. having our marines on ships and available around the world
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accomplishes many things. the mere presence of a war ship offshore loaded with marines or even the knowledge that there are only a few days away is often enough to curb the actions of many actors around the world. while our sister services act in a single domain, the army on land, navy at sea and air force in space, the marines are different. we don't operate in a singledom ain but operate in the lane, the lane that opens up in the stages of conflicts that transcends all three of the dwow mains that i spoke of. we bring a combined arms force that can respond as quickly as required. this force may be needed to open the door for the larger joint force or follow-on capabilities across the elements of our national power. lastly, since we are all
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concerned about the fiscal challenges facing our nation that was talked about, i thought you might be interested in knowing what america gets for its low sticker price it pays for its corps. 8% of the total defense budget for $23.9 billion out of $525.4 billion budget for the department of defense, the marine corps provides 15% of all active duty brigades, 11% of all fighter attack air cast and 18% of attack helicopters and seven flexible marine expeditionary units on 22 ships. the nation pays the sticker price for its marines, it buys a force one that has the ability to operate in a stabilizing role and can respond to a crisis or when necessarily rapidly scale up to meet the requirements of major theater war, for fewer 10
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of the budget, provides an effective hedge against the nation's most likely and most dangerous security threat. in closing, let me thank the generals for inviting me to speak tonight. i enjoy every opportunity to tell the marine corps story. as a member of the joint chiefs whose sole mission in life is the defense of our great nation, i want to thank each of you here to promote international security around the world. thank you. and i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you, general, for your very insightful thought and
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allowing time for questions and answers. i run the international security program here. on friday, we will be renamed and launched at our international awards dinner in new york as the brent scow craft center on international security. and still retain transatlantic issues at its core but a number of other functioning including long range trends. i wanted to join in thanking the ambassador for the generous support of the commander series. this has been a very youthful series and i'm sure it will continue to generate important insights on these issues. general, there are a lot of headlines, strategic review coming up. the quadrennial defense review and potential fiscal cliff at the end of the year,
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sequestration and let's return to the basics and that is the title of your talk was the role of the marine corps in u.s. defense strategy. that defense strategy featured strong emphasis on sort of returning to asia after 10 or so years of sustained warfare and centcom. can you talk about the marine's role and what we have seen in terms of announcements featured marine corps presence and put your arms around that and give us a sense of what might be coming next. >> as we sit here tonight, we have about 20,000 marines forward deployed west of the international "dateline" and some of them are in japan and some in australia, some are aboard ships. probable 4,000 in japan.
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so we never left the pacific. the pacific is kind of our home. we have been there for a long time. we have a lot of experience on every island all the way from new zealand all the way to the solomons. and i was celebrating the landing at the canal. this is an area we are very familiar with. so as the president has reoriented the strategy towards the pacific and i think it is the right thing to do, we are kind of turning back to an area that probably we understand. we bring a lot to that part of the world. navy partners on board navy ships. quite honestly we can partner
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with any nation. we don't need a base of operations. we can operate off the ship or come ashore with a low footprint. we intend to capitalize on that as we ship our forces coming out of afghanistan and end up with 22,000 marines west of the international "dateline." let me make a comment on the pacific and the important tabs of it. it has always been important to our nation. we are a pacific nation. the president says that. secretary of defense just said that this week. we are a pacific nation. 61% of the world's population lives in that area. 49% of the oil comes from the straits. 15 of the 28 of the world's mega cities are in the asian pacific area. seven of 15 of our largest
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trading partners, for us, united states of america are in the asia pacific area. five major treaties that start from japan and south korea and continue on down all the way to the phillipines and continue on down to australia. there is a great interest in commerce, freedom of navigation and it's just good for the united states to get back in the pacific and we are going to be a part of it. >> let me ask you a couple of follow-up questions and then open up to the audience. you mentioned mega cities and work going on here about long range trends that shows that the urbanization trends that we have seen to date are going to accelerate, 60% of the world's population by 2030 and so it seems like the marines are
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particularly useful in urban warfare settings. what i'm seeing in these trends, future of the world is going to be in cities, for good, ill or other. how do you sort of -- paying attention on the long range trends and getting marines ready for urban warfare and paying attention to the training priorities i'm sure you are focused on. >> if you look at the population growth and we talked about the 15 to 20 mega cities, over 75% of the world's largest cities are within about 62 miles of the coastline. if you map that around the world, all around europe and asia to include our country and europe, you would see the bulk of the population is centered around the littorals. i'm prejudiced here and you
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asked me to talk about the marines, but i'm a little bit prejudiced because we have the opportunity to interdict and deal in that kind of environment where the population is present don't nantly. back to the issue of urban warfare, we have kind of gotten away from it. but boy, we have jumped in with both feet in iraq and began in baghdad and has never left. we have been heavily involved in urban warfare in small villages, small places that we would call a bump in the road, but there are homes, there are markets, people, human terrain and we along with our army partners have been heavily involved in urban warfare. we will continue to be involved in the engagement with our alies, the partners that are important to the united states
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of america and predominantly, a lot of that goes along with the littorals. >> my last question, still sticking with asia, general sco wkroft has articulated his concern the defense in asia to make sure we have the capabilities to deal with that. he said the signaling can be counterproductive and stimulates the chinese to produce. how do we avoid a dynamic that brings about a conflict or a crisis that we'd rather not have but still make sure that we are prepared for future -- >> that's a great question. i know secretary of defense touched on that with you yesterday or may have been even this morning when he was talking and the issue of china came up
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and you know, people want to kind of imply because of the pacific or shifting to the pacific that that portends a confrontation. actually, it's just the opposite. what secretary panetta said is that the very best thing we can have is -- and i'm calling it relationship building, but dialogue, interaction and he is talking military to military, which is actually in many cases easier because we may wear a different uniform when we come from culture differences, but when we are with our own services, there is a similarity there. secretary panetta said the best thing we can do to preclude either misinterpretations,
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miscalculations, is to have dialogue, have military-to-military dialogue and develop that relationship and i couldn't agree more. it's in the very best interests of both our countries to have good relationships for trade. i mentioned that 15 -- seven to 15 of our largest trading partners are in the asia pacific area. i just built a log cabin in the mountains of north carolina. i wanted furniture and i went down -- i won't say the name of a famous furniture company in north carolina. they had lathes and bib overalls. and i bought this furniture and when they delivered it, it had the name -- every piece of furniture was made in china. we have great commercial interests in having a good relationship with china.
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and i think our president and secretary panetta are right on the money. let's build the trust and confidence and let's become as transparent as we possibly can. >> thanks, general. i would like to open up to the floor for any questions. if anyone has questions. i didn't recognize ron who is also here in attendance today. any questions for the commandant? >> good evening, sir. i'm patricia putnam. i work at the headquarters marine corps in support of the international affairs branch and my colleagues work in the marine corporation security cooperation. and you mentioned the relationship that we have in the pacific. can you speak to the effects of sequestration is going to have with building those
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relationships and enhancing those relationships through security cooperation in the asia pacific region. >> my good friend said there is no word that can describe and be honest with you, if sequestration happens, all the -- all of our engagement will be on the table. in other words, we are going to have to look at everything and look at the strategy that we spent all last fall developing and the president announced in february. that is going to have to be back on the table. the ability to be able to do security force assistance, engagement, the things like what we call international military education training, all that is going to be laid out and we are going to have to make business decisions as a nation and as the
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department of defense and then as a service as to what we can afford. you know, in my -- it's the same way in all the service chiefs. we have at the end of the day, when you take all the things aside, whether it be an exchange or a d.o.d. school -- and i don't want to see this on the front page of the "washington post." take all that aside to do the nation's bidding and we have all the other things that we are a part of to help us do that with our families and all very, very important, but as i look at this thing, sequestration, if it happens, when the dust finally settles, it will be a while before it settles and you realize how much money you have, then what i have told everybody
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is that ok, at that point i'm going to go to the fundamentals of the united states marine corps because i have to provide that to the american people, congress and the president of the united states. and i'll go back and do everything i can and start divesting myself of things so i can provide the force that is the most ready. i believe that. and as people, things and training -- i have to get it up and it's got to be balanced and i'm going to have to end up doing that, but we are a long ways and i think the sequestration will be very painful. you know what i worry about sequestration? we in washington understand -- and we know how to spell the word. you go out across america and they don't know. and it's not because they just don't understand it.
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people say you want to balance the budget and pay your bills? we go yes. then sequestration is the way to do it. they have no idea what it will do to our defense and fact that we are a global power and influence for good, all those things i think will be in jeopardy. >> thank you for your distinguished service. you and >> you're doing a great job running around the marine corps. i'd like to compliment you, especially the young marines who had the burial decal ceremony the other day at andrews. they were -- >> thank you. you did a terrific job and did a great service for or country but also for your marines. getting to do that. so it was well-classed. you mentioned darwin.
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do you envision that the marine s based in darwin would eventually become -- and do you see more on the horizon that congress will authorize you to put in line more? >> i think, let me answer the last question, fred, first. i don't -- there's not a plan for more muse. marine expeditionary units are everybody that's out there. that's about 2,500 marines and it's got an ina fantry battalion that's got an aviation squad and a logistics -- not and they float around the world on amphibious ships.
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one in the central command, one in the pacific and one in the south pacific and well sailing i think on monday. heading out. in fact i think it headed out this past monday. so we've got them out around the world and they're very handy. the first days they controlled the air, the airplanes that were flying off the u.s.s., they were enforcing a no-fly zone, picked up an air force pilot. so they do an awful lot for our nation. i don't see -- there's no talk right now. we've got seven of them increasing to eight or to nine. but to australia. we were down there about a month and a half ago. sergeant mainly of the marine corps and i were there -- major of the marine corps and i were there. we were there to get seans for where we're headed, two nations and two militaries.
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and then also to see the marines. so we started there and it was terrific and very, very warmly received. but here's the point i'd like to make. as i sat with the head of policy in the m.o.d., he said, he said, will you turn around and look at the map on the wall? and i turned around and there was a map and australia was right in the center of it. and right over here was indonesia, militia, vietnam, thailand. you could see it all. you could see the straits of morocco. they were right there. and then the indian ocean. but australia was right there in the center. kind of up there was japan and korea and way over here could you see the fringe of honolulu and it had rings that went out.
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he said, that's why our two nations need to continue with their relationships and their alliances, because look at where we are in the wormed. and i thought, boy, i tell you how impressed i was. i came back and told my guys, i want a map just like that for my office. so i understand what he was trying to say. the value of our relationship with australia, who has been a traditional partner with the united states of america for the army, the air force and the navy and the marines, for -- we fought and we'll continue to this day to fight shoulder to shoulder with them. and they can help us when you start thinking about the asia-pacific area. because they have relationships with some of these cries -- countries that we don't have. we've got a good relationship with them. so i mean i see goodness out of this thing. so that's -- i mean, that's the importance of it.
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very well received. do i see an eighth m.e. -- mew on the ground in darwin? i don't think so. the two countries or two nations agreed that when the timing was right and when everything is dish mean, there's a whole lot involved here, that we will eventually get up to about 2,500 marines in darwin. the forces will be there. we'll look probably like marine expeditionary unit and it will have ebbs and flows. sometimes there will be more infantry on the ground and less station but there will always be logistics. but it will probably be about 2,500 and it will probably have an infantry battalion that will probably have a reinforced aviation squadron kind of thing. but that's out in the future. that's the agreement that our two nations are working towards and -- but right now we've got
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200 marines, we've got a marine infantry company on the ground there. they'll come out this month, the rainy season starts in darwin. i had no idea it rained that much down there but it does. so they'll come out and then we'll come back in in march. we'll probably keep that size force, rotating in and out of there, a couple of hundred, for i'm guessing probably a couple of years. and really it's event-driven by the two nations. by the united states of america and by australia. when are they comfortable, when are they comfortable in increasing that number? the training is phenomenal. we've already soom seen some benefitless. a company was on darwin for probably 90 days, got on ships, i think it went to thailand, i think it went to singapore. participated in exercises and then came back. so that's part of that engagement. >> in the third row here. >> hi.
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the question is about a marine corps team has sent you to deal with antiamerican demonstrations -- anti-american demonstrations but the sudan government seems to refuse that. are there any further actions to be taken and what is your comment? and another thing is, according to the general, he said there's a concept of -- [inaudible] battle in the future. are there anything that reours can -- reoccurs? >> two questions. one on we sent teams to tripoli and yemen is there anything next? and second whearks the marine role in air-sea battle? >> we have 18 fast teams in the marine corps. we've got three companies. and they're predominantly headquartered out of norfolk and we dispatch those out around the world. they have some in the pacific command, they have some in the
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central command, they've got some until european command. so we have fast teams, a percentage of those that are forward employed at all times. so the fast team that went into yemen came out of the central command, the fast team that went into tripoli came out of the european command. so right now those are stable, we have other fast teams poised. we've got some of them, four, deployed. and that's really a decision that our president makes, the state department makes, the combatant commander makes and even more importantly, actually the sovereign nation that the fast team could deploy to. the sovereign nation has to say yes. we'd like a fast team to come in. so it's one of those shock absorbers. it's one of those things that the leadership has in their hip pocket that says, if things start, things start getting out of control, then we can deploy
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a fast team in. so there's no plans that i'm aware of right now to deploy fast teams. but they're sitting ready and they're on about a four to-six hour transfer and they're sitting there ready to go. so that's as good for our country and good for the state department and combatant commanders. second question? >> second question was about air sea battle. is there a marine role in that? >> there is. in fact, i think it's developing. i think it's a very large role. when you start taking a look at coastlines, we're talking thousands of thousands of linear miles of coast line. one of the things that amphibious forces do, and we practice this at exercises and in war plans around the world, is that we actually put the
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country that we might go to war with on the horns of a dilemma. because you can't possibly defend an entire coastline. you can't defend every single asset. it's impossible. and because seaboard, aye and i mentioned earlier in my remarks, i said the sea is our maneuver space. we can go anywhere we want and so the enemy actually has no idea where we are and all of a sudden we find -- he finds himself with a formidable force on their flanks. so i think we are in the process of developing that and making sure that the marine corps -- plus the fact we're going to have to have fifth generation airplanes. we have pretty strong capabilities. so i think that there will be a very strong role for the united states marine corps in air sea battle. as you're aware of, air sea battle is kind of developing right now.
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it would be a mistake to think that air sea battle is a concept of operations. or air sea battle is a war plan. air sea battle is a phase of inock situation. it's an ability to get through a highly-defended -- highly defended, access-denied, aerial-defindnied kind of environment. but it's a phase. so it's not the operation, it's a piece of the operation. i think the marines will play in all phases of an operation. >> let me follow up and take things in a different geographic direction. we're here at the atlantic council which has a global mission but focuses on working with our transatlantic allies on challenges. and it strikes me that the marines were so central to our operations in afghanistan over the last 10 years. working large which will a lot of european militaries as well. how do we sort of leverage the
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interoperability games and the familiarity and the skill in working together with our european allies for this future? undoubtedly we'll be working with them again in the middle east, in various capacities and operations. and perhaps there's also lessons to be learned and gained for our work in asia with europe. i don't know if you've thought about that as much. >> we have. i think there's -- i almost think there's just a little bit of a misinterpretation. that because the strategy talk, you know, about a focus in the asia-pacific area while maintaining the focus in the central command area, that that meant that our nato partners, that meant that south america, africa, actually are not part of that strategy and the truth of the matter is they really are. it may have been a function of words more than quantity of
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words than it was what was really intended. because we have -- and we we just spent last week with all the combatant commanders and service chiefs and the secretary. and if the admirable were here he'd remind all of us about what the percentage of military expense is by nato. it's huge. i mean, it's enormous. if you take all of nato together and you add up what the military budget is, it's significant. and he'd be quick to remind us all of. that so we have that partnership. we developed it and i think we just -- it's in our very best interest to continue to do. so i'm absolutely confident we will. we may move capabilities around the world but the importance of europe, the importance of our alliance in nato, the interoperability tweens our nato a-- between our nato allies, you know, we still
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train today. we trained in the republic of jordan. we have marines over in the bright sea right now working on the black sea rotation. we've got -- this is just my service. the u.s. army's got a lot of forces in europe that are doing. so it's in our best interest to continue to build that alliance. the alliance, the nato alliance , you go back to when nato said, ok, i'm going to step into the central command and be the key player in that, they have done that and they've done that well. and we're shoulder in shoulder with them today. so i think notice our best interest. i think it will always be that way. and by the way, we've got great interest in africa. we've got great interest in south america. today week of got u.s. forces training, working with -- we've got u.s. marines down in clomyafment colombia's one of the greatest success stories of turnaround in narco terrorism in a country that was consumed by that. and we've been down there for
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probably about 15 years trying -- training side by side with the colombian marines. so there's too much goodness in the rest of the world. we need to continue those alliances. >> thank you. yes, second row. >> thank you, sir. senior fellow at the heritage foundation. father of a young platoon commander. turning back to the pacific, under the marine realignment plan, the ma rinse are moving further east, to guam and beyond. further from the conflict zones, further from potential humanitarian disaster areas. does the -- do the marines have enough lift, particularly sea lift, to get back to the area if need be? and the second question is, the marines are, you know, planning to move the ospreys down to oak gnaw with a. are -- okinawa. are there things that can be done with the image problem?
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are there steps that can be done with either -- either on okinawa or japan at large? >> i'll come back to the osprey in a second. but the answer to that question for -- to do what needs to happen in the pacific with regards to strategy, i mean, really be able to, again, go back to australia, turn the map up like this and really take a look at that part of the world from that perspective, there isn't enough. and that's one of the things that we're struggling with. ships are expensive. when you put it in the budget and i've worked with the c.n.o. on this matter all the time, you put a capital ship in the budget and that's a lot of money. so, a budget that's already pressurized, imagine a $487 billion budget control act which laid out that the bill across the department of defense over the next 10 years, and then throw sequestration on top of that, pot tension of
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that -- the potential of that. so if you have a strategy that talks about the pacific and the importance of it, and all this and the ability to be able to build capital ships is reduced marketedly as a result of budget pressures and sequestration or whatever, then there's probably little hope certainly within the budget to be able to build that. the next question is, how do you get one? there's -- there are some creative ways we can do this. we are building joint high speed vessels. that's in the budget. and those things are very, very effective. there's a limitation to them. there's sea state limitation. that gets normally around three, sea state three. but you can move a lot of marines and a lot of equipment around once you get kind of down in that part of the world. the oceans are huge down there. when you get into the asia-pacific area. i flew what seemed like days to get down there, to cross the
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equater to get down there. so there's creative ways, we're using airlift, using ships that we currently are building, we have. i've even told my commander in the pacific, i said, look, don't wait for a perfect solution set to move forces around in the pacific. if we have to hire commercial ships to do that, i'm willing to do that in the meantime. but let's not wait because the strategy is too important. and what we'll do is we'll work to -- in hopes that the resources catch up with it. so, i'm hopeful, it's always a strain on lift, amphibious ships format are incorps, it's always been a strain. and it's not because we're bad people, it's just because you've got a finite amount of assets and when you start talking ships, they're very, very, very expensive. it's not like buying a single airplane. so that's the first thing. the second part on thes to
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prison, -- the ospreys, after passing through many countries, back in tokyo, but i was there, the ospreys were sitting there. they were almost brand-spanking new airplanes. and you know, the defense was just with the defense minister i think yesterday. they're working their way through this thing. we have been forthright with our accident in morocco. we've given them the copy of the accident investigation. we've actually sat with them and debriefed them, took their assessment team down to new river where our training squadron is for v-22's. put them in the simulator, actually showed them the mishap from flying it in a simulator and then put them in an airplane and flew them around
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in an airplane. so they have everything. the urs air force has come forward and they've done exactly the same thing. so the japanese government has the facts of the two mishaps. both mishaps were pilot error. it's a tragedy. in our case we lost two marines, two crew cheep chiefs in the back. so that dish don't ever want to downplay that. that's serious. but both accidents were not caused by mechanical failures. to your point about when people write about the osprey, there's always dot, dot, dot, and then they start reharbaughing press written by somebody, really almost 10, 11 years ago. the facts are this. the airplane itself is absolutely probably competing to be the safest airplane in the first 100,000 hours of flight. when you build an airplane and you field it, you take a look at how it performs in the first 100,000 hours. that airplane is tied for first
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place across all the airplanes we've ever built, all the ones we're flying right now, and all the ones we're flying overseas, and offaircraft carriers. it's tied with the cb-22, interestingly enough, the air force special ops, and the h-60 helicopter. those are the three safest airplanes in the first 100,000 hours of flight. it's a great tragedy that we had the mishap in morocco. i can't pull that back but we went for years without having a mishap. the airplane has been -- the program, the airplane has been restructured, it's on its 15 ggets combat deployment, the 15th. so when you go to afghanistan now and you fly, and i do all the time, or you get over there, everybody wants to fly around in that osprey. everybody. there's a reason for that. so i am very optimistic. i'm optimistic that our two nations will be able to work their way through this, it's the best -- i wrote a piece to
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the government of japan. i'm a pilot, i'm the senior pilot i think on active duty in the military today. i just flew a 46 around okinawa probably five weeks ago. i know the area, i've grown up flying in and out of that area. i know it well. i am equally as mindful of my responsibilities for safe operation of that airplane for the people of okinawa, the citizens that have great nation, as i am about -- as i am mindful of my own marines and their families that will be flying with their family members. so i take that very, very seriously. it's a heck of a capability. and i think it's in the best interest of the alliance. to have that. >> thank you. time for a few more questions. this gentleman in the second row. could you give him a microphone, please?
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>> thank you. ed never owna. -- verona. i'm the father of a marine and i wanted to ask you, sir, about -- >> he's deployed right now. >> he is deployed. he called me today, said he couldn't say where he was, he wasn't even sure which ocean it was. [laughter] i wonder if could you address the questions related to morale. we're coming off a very long engagement in afghanistan. we're going into a downsizing, the sequester must weigh on people's minds. you've been -- dealing with some of the more thorny social issues that you've come up in the last few years with don't ask, don't tell, with women going into combat infantry, training and so forth. can you talk a little bit about how -- what sort of reaction you're seeing coming from the rank and file and how you're
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dealing with it? >> let me ask you, before i pitch in here, what's your sense? what's your son say? what's his sense? >> my son says when a marine stops complaining there's something wrong. [laughter] >> there's a lot of truth to that. >> i think -- my sense is that his morale's pretty high. he did a deployment in afghanistan and came back and seems to be coping well with it. i think it's a tribute to the corps that it instills a certain degree of -- i mean, a high degree of decor and people learn to compensate for these fluctuations. but one can't help but pick up a little bit of concern about where things are going and particularly cutting scores and bonus -- re-enlistment bonuses and things like that. >> ok. thank you. for that. and thank you for loaning me your son. i mean that sincerely.
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the interesting thing right now, and when i say this you're going to say, well, he's a service chief so he has to say this. actually, i am a service chief and i don't have to say this but i'm going to say it anyway. morale right now is probably never been higher or morale has probably never been higher than it is right now. marines feel good about doing what they're doing. and how do i know that? first of all, i talk to them. and you might think that they withhold themselves from me when i walk umup to them but they're pretty forthright. you can measure kind of the mental health, the happiness of a unit or the service by how things are with re-enlistments. how things are with young men and women that are standing at the door trying to get in. so let's talk about that for just a second. re-enlistments today when a young marine,, when a young man or woman finishes their first
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four years, they have an opportunity, they're at a decision point. do i sign up for another four-year crts and stay on or do i get out and i go to work or i go to my family business or i go to school or whatever it is i'm going to do? re-enlistments right now are higher than they've ever been. in fact, we're challenged in the marine corps because we're drawing the marine corps down from 202,000 down to that. which means the competition to stay in is very, very keen. so we have a higher number of young men and women that want to stay by a factor of probably three or four. than we we have space for. so re-enlistments are high. if you want to become, for instance, an officer in the marine corps today, and i know this because i tracked it. in fact, i was just working it this weekend. and i never made it. carl smith, progget probably
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neither one of us would have made. it but here's the average s.a.t. score for a young college graduate that's applying to become an officer in marine corps. s.a.t. score is 1,250. no felonies, i mean, none of that kind of stuff. no nasty tattoos that are visible. which is difficult in today's society. and you're heavily involved in sports and heavily involved in extra curricular activities. so 3.22 g.p.a., s.a.t. score of 1,250. just to make the cut. and then you stick around and they start talking about, ok, then dish mean, i looked at a record this weekend that had a s.a.t. score of 1,550. i didn't even know it went that high. [laughter] that's twice as high as carl smith's and mine.
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so now if you said, i want to be a young enlisted marine and i don't want to go through that s.a.t. and college and stuff, eight months. if you sign up today, if you walked, you go to the recruiter in downtown washington, d.c., and you sign up and eye assume that you're morally, physically, mentally and everything else qualified, you're going to sit in what we call a delay entry pool for eight months. because we don't have room for you. it will be eight months before a new ship, what we call ship, can go to san diego. so that's an indication that young men and women want to come in. our officer retention is probably higher today than i can ever remember it. it's in the 90's. i'm talking captains. and you might say, well, captains don't like that stuff. they're out there doing the heavy lifting. actually they want to stay. it's in the 90 percent aisle. i tell what you i worry about.
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so that's all good. and by the way, just like our brothers in the army, we've been in some pretty tough times. this has not been without loss. 1,123 marines now killed in action since we crossed the border in march of 2003. almost 14,000 wounded. so it's not been without cost or sacrifice. but marines know that when they sign up. we tell them that it's going to be hard. we say we're going to deploy you around the world and do the nation's bidding and we've actually been living up to that promise and i'm not trying to be co -- corny. we do and they like that. that's why i think the marinesmen in the 24th like that. as we come down out of, you know, 2014, where we have withdrawn the bulk of our forces out of afghanistan, so kind of major combat kind of operations have ceased, so to
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speak, we don't know what the rest of the world is going to do for us, but i'm going to have to make sure that my young men and women see job satisfaction or are motivated to go to places like pat civic, to go train with other nations, to go onboard ships. and i'm going to have to work my way through that. that's a concern of mine. because i've been a marine, the bulk of my time we're the inner warriors. the 1970's and 1980's and 1990's, there wasn't a lot going on. you trained, you deployed, he went here and there. all of us worked hard to try to keep not only our morale up but the morale of our young men and women. so that's probably my greatest concern. not so much now as the morale now i think is really good. as i look to the future, i'm concerned. how am i going to keep that up? because kids right now, and i say kids with great love and
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affection, our young men and women, they step forward and they're willing to sacrifice. don't worry about whatever generation we're talking about, they are selfless, they are cradgeous and they are willing to step forward and give of themselves and they're doing it by the thousands. i'm just worried as we kind of come out of that, i'm going to have to promise them -- that's why australia's actually a pretty good deal. that's a heartfelt answer and that's the truth. >> yes, in the second row here. >> general dan tailor, inside the anyway have i have. talking about the v-22, it's obviously had its first deployments in iraq and afghanistan. and i'm wondering how you see that aircraft's role evolving as you -- and maturing perhaps
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as you send it over to the asia-pacific region. >> i think it's got a great combat record, by the way. it's and it's been shot up coming in and out of zones. it's on its 15th deployment. goodness, the 13th or so combat deployment. so it's been shot up going in and out of zones and it's been just fine. as you think asia pasifpk, so we know -- asia-pacific, so we know they work well in combat but what about in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief area? they give you some figures that i think will catch your attention. in the asia-pacific area, every single year over 70,000 people are killed by a natural disaster. tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, i just talked to my commander on okinawa, on
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sunday. he had the latest typhoon go through, the one that had gone through was like two weeks before that. these are supertyphoons. these are what we'd call a category five kind of things. when i landed in manila, they just had a typhoon that had sat over the philippines for almost two weeks. and when i landed in manila five weeks ago, whatever it was, the skies had just cleared and we landed. half of manila was under water. hundreds and hundreds of people were -- had lost their homes and lost their lives. they had an earthquake on the other side of the philippines, a 6.4 as i recall, about two weeks ago. so the asia-pacific area is prone to natural disasters of almost epic proportions. so how does a v-22 fit in there? i can fly from okinawa to the
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philippines none stop and be down there -- nonstop and be down there to provide relief. if i have to go down in my 44-year-old stage 6 helicopters it takes me nine hours because i've got to find little islands that i can stop and refuel in all the way down. and then when i get there, i probably got a combat radius of about 110 miles which means i can fly out to some place, wait there for about to minutes and then come back. v 22 you don't have to do that. all the advertisements we use in 2001 to 2002, to kind of promote the airplane, flies 2 1/2 times as fast, carries three times as much and goes three or four times, it's actually the truth. so when you start thinking pat civic, large, large, massive areas of water and the huge amounts of potential goodness for our nation, that the airplane can help our allies
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with, i think it's got a key role in the pacific and i think should our two nations work through this, and i'm optimistic that they will, that we'll have an opportunity very quickly to probably be able to show that. >> i think we're out of time, unfortunately. thank you so much for the enormous depth and breadth of your discussion here from the asia-pacific, thrure europe to the middle east and from the strategic to the tactical and certainly your important thoughts on taking care of our veterans and our active duty personnel. thank you so much for coming here and sharing your insights. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> the house gavels in at 2:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow for legislative work. votes after 6:30. on the agenda this week, a resolution of disapproval aimed at blocking the obama administration's recent changes to the welfare law. also expected, a package of five energy and environmental bims aimed at boosting energy production and job creation. follow the house live on c-span. and the senate gavels in tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern to continue work on a veterans
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jobs bill with a procedural vote scheduled for noon. also next week, 2013 federal spending. the house already passed a continuing resolution that would fund the government for six months starting october 1. live senate coverage as always on c-span 2. >> tomorrow the senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee holds a hearing on homeland security threats and the response of federal agencies. we'll hear testimony from d.h.s. secretary janet napolitano, f.b.i. society deputy director and matthew olesen. see their hearing live wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and thursday, the justice department inspector general testifies on operation fast and furious. he'll speak with members of the house oversight committee and it starts live at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. you can also listen on c-span
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radio or watch online at c-span.org. >> this weekend, live from the national mall, the 12th annual national book festival. two days of author presentations and interviews, plus your phone calls, emails, tweets and touts. for schedule information go to booktv.org. >> earlier today, the white house press secretary jay carney talked about mitt romney's comments at a secretly videotaped fundraiser and here's an opportunity to draw contrast between mr. romney and the president. the video showed mr. romney telling donors that half of the country won't vote for him and claimed these are people who were quote, dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. this is 40 minutes. >> good morning. i appreciate you coming to the briefing. i don't have any announcements so we'll go straight to
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questions. >> thanks. has the president seen the video that's caused a lot of people to be talking this morning, the 47% video, and show us his reaction to it? >> let me say this. the campaign has put out a statement and i'm sure others from the campaign will be asked about and will address it. so i'll limit what i say in response to questions about it. what i'll say is this. when you're president of the united states, you are president of all the people. not just the people who voted for you. you've heard the president say so many times, because he deeply believes it, that we're in this together. all of us. from the times he began his career in public service, from the time that those of us in this room first heard of him in 2004, his message has been
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about the fact that what unites us as americans is far greater than the things that divide us. and that's fundamental to who this president is and it's fundamental to what guides him as he makes decisions. when he made the decision against the advice of many to take action to save the auto industry, the president did not ask whether the 1.1 million americans whose jobs would be saved had voted for him. or against him. when he pressed for 18 small business tax cuts he didn't ask if small business men and women were democrat or republican. when he fought to pass health care reform he didn't wonder whether the 129 million americans with pre-existing conditions who would be helped
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by this reform, who would be given security through the reform, were likely to be with him or against him in 2012. that's just not how he thinks. and i think the way you have to approach the job is with a keen understanding that you're out there fighting for every american and this president's agenda has always been about building the middle class, strengthening the middle class, bringing people up into the middle class and that's what it will be going forward. >> has the president watched the video? >> i haven't asked him. >> one of the -- wanted to follow on this. one of the comments from governor romney was that 47% who support president obama believe they are victims.
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[inaudible] is the white house think that that kind of statement has policy implications -- [inaudible]? >> again, setting aside what governor romney thinks, i can tell you that the president certainly doesn't think that men and women on social security are irresponsible or victims. that students aren't responsible or victims. he certainly doesn't think that middle class families are paying too little in taxes. but again the broader point that you always hear him make is that we need to come together as a country. we need to work together for what's best for the country and best for especially the middle
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class which is the backbone of this nation. >> can you tell us a little bit more about how the president himself reacted to the video? whether or not he's seen it? >> again, i don't know if he's seen it and i haven't -- i don't have any discussions with him about it to read out to you. >> can you tell us if he talked about it with his staff? >> i'm not going to read out any internal conversations about that or other issues. >> let me move to a policy question then. there's some volatility in the oil markets yesterday and today. some of that -- some people are saying it's speculation about an imminent s.p.r. move. number one, can you give us any update on your s.p.r. thinking and, number two, can you tell us if there was any sort of intel that show may have shown that yesterday was a technical glitch? >> let me refer questions about the markets yesterday to the
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cftc. that's an appropriate agency to refer those questions to. our position on the s.p.r. is what it has been which is that we monitor the situation regularly and constantly, together with our international partners and we continue to say that all options remain on the table. but i don't have any announcements to make today. >> do you have -- has the president or the white house been watching market in general? any updates on your thinking about just development there? >> well, look, i think you saw in may at the g.a. -- g-8 and more recently finance ministers for the g-7, this is something that's regularly monitored and discussed by the united states, whether it's international --
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united states with its international partners. i can say in terms of more recent developments, the administration welcomes the saudi arabian oil minister's recent remarks and share his concern about rising oil prices. in the international oil market. we also welcome saudi arabia's continued commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure the market is well supplied and to help moderate prices. as we have also said for some time, the administration continues to take steps to expand domestic oil and gas production which has increased each year the president has been in office. in fact, as you know, u.s. oil production is currently at an eight-year high and domestic natural gas production is at an all-time high. >> gas prices are going up in the u.s. right now. is that something he's concerned about or looking at any additional measures -- >> again, with regard to international oil market and oil prices, we monitor them constantly with our international partners, it's a -- something that we keep very close track of.
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and we retain the right to keep all options for dealing with those issues on the table. and that includes s.p.r. but i have no announcements of any action that may or may not be taken. yes. >> the president also had his fair share of private moments that have later been made public. during the 2008 election he said that -- [inaudible] this was also said privately to donors and then made public after the fact. role voters aren't 47% of the electorate. they are a large democrat grambing. how are mr. romney's commeblets any different than what the president said? >> i think that happened four years ago and was discussed in abundance at the time. what the president said four years ago, what he said eight years ago, what he says today and what he said ever since he took office here is that he's fighting for every american.
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that he firmly believes that as a nation we're all in this together. that what unites us is far stronger and greater than what divides us. that we're not red america and blue america, we're the united states of america. and i think that that's a fundamental fact about barack obama. and it's been the guiding philosophy and principle behind the policy decisions he's made. i think, again, citing some of the examples from what he's done in office, when he took action to ensure that our financial markets, our financial sector did not collapse, he didn't check to see whether the people who would most directly benefit from that were supporters or not. he took a lot of grief for that. but he did it because he thought it was right for the american economy and right for all americans, that we did not experience the collapse of an important sector of our economy. same thing with the auto industry. he didn't ask if auto workers were supporters, he didn't ask
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if auto executives were supporters. he did what was right, what he believed was right for the country. and that's been his guiding principle. we've talked about this in charlotte. the people who inspire him, the people who give him hope, he doesn't know whether they're voting for him. the soldier he first met at walter reed who lost a leg, you know, he doesn't know. the gentleman who won the lottery and kept working and bought flags for his town, these are the things, these are -- this is the sort of essence of the american story that inspires him every day. and it does not matter to him whether they're republican or democrat or independent. because we're all in this together. >> the campaign said in their response to the statements that it's hard to serve as president for all americans when you rip all off half the nation. he does represent all americans. why is that any different for
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mitt romney when he makes a comment like this? >> i'm not sure -- what's the question again? >> the question being that if the president can make a comment like he did in 2008 where he sort of offended -- not offended but made a remark in direct relation to a large portion of the electorate and mitt romney makes a similar remark also offending -- >> then senator obama never said that he did not worry about or would not worry about 47% of the population. a lot of folks when we travel around the country ask why the president is campaigning on a bus in towns and communities and counties that turned red or republic, why is there he -- why is he there? if he's not likely to win the county? because he's there to take his message about his economic vision and his agenda for the country to everybody. because he firmly believes that building this country up helps everybody. you've heard him talk about it. that if we do the right things
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for our economic policy, if we take a balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, if we reduce spending, reform our entitlements, ask millionaires and billionaires to pay a little bit more, that everybody will benefit, including millionaires and billionaires. that's the essence of his governing philosophy and it's at the core of who he is. >> one question on a different topic. it seems that the u.s. ande and libya have different accounts of the attacks in benghazi. there are reports that libyan officials warned the u.s. of the growing extremist threat prior to the attack. they admit they had could not control these militias. that directly counter what is administration officials have said. this is just a reaction to the islamic film. >> what i can tell you is that we have the right information about what we believe was the per siptating cause of the protest and the violence.
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based on the information that we have had available. there is an ongoing investigation, the f.b.i. is investigating, and that investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead. what we do know about libya is that it's a country that emerged from war and revolution and you have a new government trying to assert its authority as that country makes a transition to democracy and broader representation for all libyans. and broader rights for all libyans. and in that environment there are certainly in this post-war, post-revolution environment, there are vast numbers of weapons and certainly a number of violent groups. in the country. what is important to note however is that the libyan
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people do not understand or rather they do understand that the united states was with them in their efforts to achieve their aspirations, to rid themselves of the gaddafi regime and the tyranny that gaddafi inflicted upon them. but it is still a very volatile place. there's no question about it. nancy. >> did the president regret making those comments about guns and religion? did he learn something from the fallout? >> again, that's -- these are comments that happened four years ago there. has been plenty of ink spoiled, plenty of things said about him four years ago. i know that fundamentally what the president was saying four years ago, what he was saying in 2004, and what he's saying today is entirely consistent. which is that as a country we are united by far stronger
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stuff than the things that divide us. that he is out there fighting for every american regardless of whether or not they support him politically or support the democratic party. it is really the essence of who he is as a public official that that's his guiding principle. and it's reflected by everything i just talked about. the policies that he's pursued have sometimes earned him criticism from left or right or center, precisely because he's not evaluating when he makes those decisions whether the people who are helped by them are supporters or people who voted against him or will vote against him. he's guided by what he thinks is best for the country and he firmly believes that outside of the ran chore in washington -- ranker in washington, while people have firmly held opinions and it is a country that tends to be relatively divided between the two
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parties, when we have national elections, that on the stuff that matters to americans day to -- americans' day to day lives, we're a lot more united than we sometimes perceive here in washington. and that -- the president believes that in his bones and it's what guides him. >> i want to ask you about something else that governor romney said. get your take from a policy perspective. on the middle east peace process. he said the palestines have, quote, no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. does the president share this view? >> the president believes and is committed to working with -- the president believes and is committed to the principle that a two-state solution is the right solution for middle east peace. that is a basic tenant of -- that has been pursued by democratic and republican administrations. prior to president obama.
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and his two immediate predecessors worked on this issue under the firm belief that a two-state solution was the right solution. and it's what has guided this president. so, i think his view is a little different from what was expressed. >> governor romney said this is likely to remain an unsolved problem. given recent history in the middle east, is he wrong about that? >> well, that it's a difficult problem? i think we can all agree on. that it is a challenge that previous presidents have both -- of both parties have embraced because they believe it's right for the country, they believe it's right for american interests, for the interests of israelis, the interests of palestinians, is also true. and it is simply the wrong approach to say, we can't do anything about it so we'll just kick it dead on the field. that's not leadership. that's the opposite of leadership.
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and this president has been working on this issue since the day he took office. it is a tough issue but ultimately peace between the israelis an palestinians, a negotiated peace that provides security for israel and a state for the palestinians is in the interests of the israelis and the palestinians and is in the interest of the united states of america. and this president will continue to pursue it. >> i want to go back to libya. on september 10 you put out a press release saying that the president had a meeting with senior officials to figure out the security posture around rt 9/11 anniversary. in that press release you said that, quote, steps were taken to protect u.s. persons and facilities. the president reiterated that departments and agencies must do everything possible to protect the american people both at home and abroad. so in retrospect, given the tragedy, did the administration drop the ball on what you promised on september 10, that you had improved security at these installations?
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>> there were numerous steps taken, as there have been every year on the anniversary of 9/11, and as there have been at different times on the calendar when it is judged by the experts that taking additional steps, security steps, is the right thing to do. as for specific measures taken at specific facilities, diplomatic facilities, i would refer you to the state department. >> you mentioned the f.b.i. investigation a few moments ago, is there any sort of inquiry going on here at the white house among the president's national security team to get to the bottom of, you told the american people on september 10, we've taken steps to protect americans here at home and abroad. obviously with four americans tragically being killed, the steps are not good enough. is there an inquiry going on here to figure out what went wrong? >> there's two things. the anniversary of th 9/11 and the incidents that took place. >> it happened on the
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anniversary. >> which are under investigation and cause and motivation behind them will be decided by that investigation. it is certainly -- i would point you to what ambassador rice and others have said about what we know thus far about the video and its influence on the protest that occurred in cairo and benghazi and elsewhere. and all i can tell you is that steps are taken, both seen and unseen in advance of and in preparation for times like the anniversary of 9/11, when it is judged that there might be greater threats. and those steps were based on the threat assessments that we have at the time. but i would refer you for specific security at specific facilities at the stapet department. >> are you saying there was enough security at ben gazzjy? >> this is a matter under investigation. it is an absolute tragedy that we lost four americans.
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in benghazi. including our ambassador. including security personnel. and there's an active investigation under way into what happened and why and what the motivations were and driven by the absolute commitment that this president made to finding who is responsible and holding them -- keeping them -- holding them accountable and bringing them to justice. and i think that's very important. >> i think mary asked as well whether or not there was any heads-up for the administration that there was violence coming in libya. reuters reported that the u.s. embassy in cairo got a heads-up that there was a cable that went around suggesteding that violence was increasing around the u.s. embassy there. there were other reports suggesting that the u.s. installations in benghazi and libya had three days' notice that violence was increasing. i didn't hear an answer to that. to that question. did the administration have any sort of heads-up that violence was increasing specifically in libya before the attack?
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>> i'm not aware of any, ed. this is a matter that's under investigation in terms of what precipitated the attacks, what the motivation of the attackers were. what role the video played. in that. what we have seen has bratt on arrests across the region and elsewhere in response to this video which we have made clear we view as rerp henceble and disgusting -- reprehensible and disgusting and a video that is in no way connected to the united states government and does not reflect the have as -- values that we hold as a people. >> the video that protesters -- propelled grenades -- >> i know you know is that libya, as i just said, is very volatile place, that has just gone through a revolution and a war and where there are -- there is an abundance of weapons, including heavy weapons, and there are certainly groups that carry those weapons and look to take advantage of circumstances as there are around the region and the world. .
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we have seen incidents that inflame opinion are taken advantage of and exploited by groups that have an interest in creating chaos and destabilizing a local government or attacking the west or the united states. and that is something we have seen certainly for the past number of years. >> jay, the you -- the u.s. is suspending training for afghan troops. how serious is this with regards to the withdrawal line? >> the military is looking at the green on blue attacks in afghanistan and working with afghanistan to take measures to better protect our troops. general allen has asked commanders to review their
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tactical activities. as a result of that directive, there is a change in the level in which advising and partnering takes place. it will be at the battalion level and above. this does not mean there will not be partnering below that level but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. the president's policy to turning it over to afghan forces continues and that is part of a broader strategy that will result in more american troops coming home and afghans taking more and greater responsibility for the security of their nation and that nation continues. >> jay, handover of power is such a key part of the withdrawal process. how does that not affect the overall time line? >> it doesn't affect the time line but the issue is partnering with our juret offices which the
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general is addressing and part of this process is training up the afghan security forces so they can take over responsibility for their own security. that partnering continues with the changes and directives that i just talked about. but the transition that the president has laid out will absolutely continue. >> and has been described as a temporary suspension. can you characterize what temporary means? >> that is something that is based on the judgments made by commanders in the field as well as officials at the pentagon. >> as you point out, the training of the new recruits, the afghan army and national police trained by nato aren't going to be affected. how can you say that with confidence? >> that's a question that is addressed to the pentagon. our commanders are keenly
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focused on security for our troops and are taking steps they believe are necessary to enhance that security and to reduce the incidents of the so-called green-on-blue attacks. for their specific views on how these measures will achieve that, i will refer you to them. >> due to protests in the middle east, negotiations have stalled in terms of talking to egypt. can you confirm that? >> the cutoffs of aid to egypt reports are incorrect. it is important for defeating extremism of the very kind we just recently saw. we provide assistance to egypt because it is in our interest to help them advance national security and uphold treaty with israel and uphold democracy and that process continues and we
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are working with the hill to do that. >> you can't say if the president watched the video but is the president aware of governor romney's remarks? >> i have said frequently that the president keeps abreast of the news. i expect that he is aware of that news. >> pretty strong, then? >> i'm sure he's aware of what -- [laughter] >> of news that reaches the level that it's the first thing i'm asked at the briefing. >> general dempsey said that the attacks poise a very serious threat. has that been communicated to the president and does he agree with that assessment sm >> i would have to look at the entirlte of general dempsey's comments. no question that steps by taking by our commanders reflect
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serious concern about the increase in these attacks and it is their commitment and president's commitment we take the steps necessary to enhance security forces in afghanistan even as we continue with the mission, which is a very important mission of partnering with and training afghan security forces so they can gradually as they are now take security responsibility for their own country and as they do that, american forces will continue to come home. >> time line affected by the training. the forces left behind, the afghans will be less and does that mean the state of the country that nato is going to be left behind snr >> i think it's important to point to a couple of things. kristen mention that had this is viewed as a temporary measure, a
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temporary change indirecttive and it is important to note that partnering will continue at the battalion level and up and at lower levels as judged on a case-by-case basis. the partnering is important to the process of transitioning lead over to the afghans so our men and women can come home and that process continues. >> is there a policy about donors bringing recording devices into presidential events that are closed to the press? >> i refer you to the campaign >> you have been present where the president takes questions from donors and the like. would you say they are more forth coming? >> when the press is there when he addresses -- i agree with that. and the president's message is
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consistent whether he's talking to donors or to grassroots supporters or to people at an official event on a policy matter. i think it's fair to say that when the president speaks to wealthier americans who are supporters, he doesn't change the fact that he believes we need to take a balanced approach to our fiscal challenges asking millionaires and billionaires, to pay a little extra and his supporters who fall into that category are aware of that and they have made a decision that for the good of the country that policy is the right policy moving forward. so, the president's message is clear and he takes it to all americans and goes to what i was talking about earlier, that he really doesn't believe that
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dividing us into categories and groups isn't the right way to move forward as a nation and doesn't think about what policies he is pursuing and whether or not they benefit specific individuals who may or may not or groups of individuals who may or may not have supported him in 2008 or may or may not support him in 2012. the best policy is the best policies that the country is moving forward, middle-class americans have work and health care security and retirement security and we are taking steps to develop alternative energy so we can enhance our energy independence and we are investing in research and development and infrastructure so our country has the economic foundation to move forward so everybody been physician, everybody from the factory floor. >> no change in tone or
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substance, why are they closed to the press? >> we have taken steps to have the press participate in these events. i have spent a lot of time in drive ways, in advance as a reporter for this president's predecessor when the press corps was not allowed in depends on whether or not there were benches served. >> now time to bring up your april 14, 2008 column. >> i don't remember that column. i honestly don't. >> i could read the whole thing for you. >> the president as a candidate, addressed this at the time. and i think the broader point is that his message, there and everywhere in 2008 and going back to 2004 and every day since has been consistent, which is we are in this together, all of us and that his interest is in
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moving the entire country forward in ways that benefit senior citizens on social security, students who are getting student loans, combat veterans and troops. you know, everybody in this country is i think working towards the same goal, advancing the country forward. and the vast majority are hard working, responsible and committed to their families and country. that's the principle behind his politics and policies. >> will the president address this in his remarks tonight? >> i don't have any comments from the president. >> on friday you seemed to cite that the videos are definitely
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part of it -- i get the sense that you are backing away. >> what i'm making clear and ambassador rice made clear on sunday reaction to the video was the precipitating factor in protests and violence across the region and what i'm also saying is that we made that assessment based on the evidence that we have and that includes all the evidence that we have at this time. i am not, unlike some others, going to prejudge the outcome of an investigation and assert one way or the other what the motivations are or what happened exactly until that investigation is complete. and there are a lot of suppositions on what happened in benghazi and i would rather wait for that investigation to be completed. >> you're not ruling out --
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>> as more information comes to light, that will be part of the investigation and will make it available when appropriate. but at this time, as ambassador rice said and i have said, our understanding and our belief based on the information we had, it was the video that caused the unrest in cairo that helped -- that precipitated the unrest in benghazi and elsewhere. what other factors involved is a matter of investigation. >> is this going to prompt -- >> is that the time line -- >> is this going to prompt any revisions or review of the president's policies towards the arab spring? >> the president's policy towards the arab spring we support the democratic
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aspirations of the people in the region and the upheaval you have seen in the region over the past several years have been in reaction to the oppressive governments that do not respect the basic rights of their citizens. like libya and elsewhere, democratic transitions are under way. they are in early stages and there is a lot of volatility in these countries, egypt as well, of course. and our policy is geared towards supporting that transition in a way that enhances the prospects of democracy in the region and enhances the prospects of the region will continue to be -- either will continue to be or grow to be supporters of the united states and our interests in the region and around the world. and that policy hasn't changed. >> the supreme court next week
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will take up several cases. [inaudible question] >> i will ask you to direct it to the justice department. i don't make policy for supreme court cases from here. >> would the president welcome the supreme court taking up -- >> i don't have anything to say on that at this time. >> ambassador rice said on sunday it is spontaneous and we hear from the state department that there isn't enough to make a determination.
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>> based on the information that our initial information and that includes all information, we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack and it was sparked by the reaction to this video, and that is what we know thus far, based on the concrete evidence that we have thus far. but there is a lot that is under investigation here and as more facts come to light, if they change that assessment, we'll make that clear. but there is an active investigation for a reason, so we get the facts and don't base our policy prescriptions on suppositions about what we think know what happened as opposed to what has actually happened. >> they think it is spontaneous? >> based on the information we have now, it was a reaction to
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the video and there was protests in cairo and elsewhere, including benghazi and that led to the original unrest. all factors, but the other factors including participants in the unrest and violence are under investigation. and the goal of that investigation is both to find out what happened and why. but also to track down and bring to justice those who killed four americans and we are working with our libyan counterparts to make sure it happens. >> tomorrow, administration officials will be on the hill briefing members. can you tell us anything about that? >> members of the administration briefed members regularly on different -- i assume they will be briefing them on all the information that we have up to the moment before they brief. and that's what i'm reflecting at this time from here. kevin, all the way back, and
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then donovan. >> as far as next week, how much is the president realistically going to accomplish at the u.n. general assembly when he is going to be there for a short time and spending a lot on the speeches. >> the president is going to -- he intends it to be a productive time spent at the u.n. general assembly as it was last year, the year prior and the year prior. i don't have anything specific what he is going to say or what issues he is going to press, but you can be sure, but expect that to be a productive visit. >> is he going to stay longer? >> i think we are there two days. >> we were there for an overnight last year.
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doesn't he look like kevin from abc? >> they tell me that all the time. >> [inaudible question] >> i don't have any scheduling announcements from the president at this time. >> donovan. >> question on china. yesterday, in addition to the trade news, leon panetta was in japan and the japanese and u.s. are cooperating on building this missile defense system, which prompted a lot of anxiety in china among analysts and officials there who viewed it as being targeted or aimed at them. given that you had two major trade cases in the last two months and this, is there a concern that the message, the overall message that the united
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states is giving to china is perhaps too tough and given in the past when china has become a big issue in campaigns in 1992 and 1980, has often led do difficult periods for those who win the election. is the president concern that that precedent is being repeated now? >> the president's policy with regards to china -- policies, this is a broad and complex relationship, are driven by what he believes are the interests of the american people and the american economy as well as america's national security. and that is why we have such a multi-faceted complex relationship with china, which includes cooperation in a wide variety of areas, because cooperation is beneficial to the united states and to china. it is why when we see instances of unfair trade practices that
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are harmful to american workers and american businesses, this administration will act, as it has, to take cases before the w.t.o. at twice the pace of the previous administration. when we -- when the president and senior members of his administration sit with there chinese counterparts, they discuss all of these issues, areas of disagreement as well as areas of agreement, where they can work forward together and i have been in the room when the president has been with president hu and can testify to that fact and we have a broad and important relationship with the chinese, that we expect will continue with this president after he's re-elected, if he is. >> on missile defense systems, what argument would you make to chinal ease analysts that are
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worried that that represents the circle of china? >> i have to take that question and i haven't looked at it. i have to take it and get back to you. donovan, i owe you. >> a brief follow on libya. there is a little bit of confusion. you said you are working closely with the libyan government in the investigation and you are saying the information available to you guys so far has indicated -- the film prompted the violence. and is the information different that you guys have than the libyan government has? are you suggesting that the libyan government is jumping to conclusions? >> i'm not making a judgment on statements made by others. based on the information we initially had available and have available, we do not have any indication at this point of preplanned attacks and it is
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under investigation. and that will go wherever they lead. again, we are working with the libians and libyan government in pursuit of those who killed four americans and our commitment to bringing them to justice as well as the broader investigation. but i'm not casting judgment on those assertions, but what we know and what we are working to find out. >> have you guys ruled out present meddation? >> no. based on what we knew at the time and initially what we know now, the facts that we have, the video was the precipitating cause for the unrest in the region and specifically in libya. there are other factors involved in the violence that ensued, other factors are under investigation. and again, the facts will be followed wherever they lead. the point is we're not making
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declarations ahead of the facts here but telling you what we know based on the information we have at the time. >> one more on the romney video, the other remark is that he might have a better chance in the elections -- >> do i have any reaction? yeah. i think i'll steer away from that. >> has the president seen that? >> i haven't had a discussion with him about the video, so but i can boldly say that i'm confident he is aware of it. >> on north korea [inaudible question]
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>> our position with regards to north korea is unchanged and you know, we continue to work with our international partners to pressure north korea to get right with the international community to abide by its obligations and in doing so to end its isolation from the world, but i don't have anything specific on that issue today. >> whack back to burma for a moment. how does the administration assess the progress that's being made in burma, reforms? what's the next step for the u.s. if that process continues? >> we have said all along that
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progress that is made towards openness and democracy and ry form will be met with positive steps by this administration, this government in its dealings with burma and that is a step-by-step process. i don't have next steps to announce, but we are closely monitoring that progress and taking steps accordingly as i think secretary clinton has been pretty explicit about in her comments. thanks very much. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> both chambers of congress return to session tomorrow after yesterday's observance of the jewish holiday. the house gavels in at 2:00. on the resolution, recent
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changes to the welfare law. a package of five energy and environmental bills boosting energy production. follow the house live on c-span and senate gavels in at 10:00 a.m. eastern to continue work on a veteran jobs bill with a vote scheduled for noon. also, 2013 federal spending. the house already passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for six months. live senate coverage as always on c span 2. tomorrow, the senate homeland security government and affairs committee holds a hearing. we'll hear testimony from janet napolitano, kevin perkins and matthew olson. see that hearing live wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
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and thursday, justice department inspector general testifies on operation fast and furious. he'll speak with members of the house oversight committee and starts at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3 and listen on c-span radio or watch online at cspan.org. next, a look at the world trade organization and current dispute with china and subsidies it pays to auto manufacturers.
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>> export subsidies to the auto and auto parts sector in china and what that means basically is that under w.t.o. rules, china isn't allowed to provide certain types of subsidies, not allowed to provide subsidies that are contingent upon exports. can only get if you are exporting goods for instance. and what the u.s. government is alleging, first of all, china is providing those subsidies and the violation of w.t.o. rules, and second of all, alleging that china hasn't adequately notified other w.t.o. members about the subsidy. host: president obama was in ohio when he made the announcement about the complaint against the w.t.o.
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>> earlier this year, i set up a new task force to go after every unfair trade practices that harm our workers and has delivered. two months ago we moved to hold china for unfair trade practices that harm auto makers. today, my administration is launching a new action against china, this one against illegal subsidies that encourage auto companies to ship jobs overseas. your senator, senator brown has worked as hard as anybody on this. [cheers and applause] >> when folks are breaking its rules, we go after them. we aren't going to let it stand. [laughter] >> it's not right and against the rules.
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american workers build better products than anybody. made in america means something. and when the playing field is level, we always win. host: the president says, hold china accountable, but by going to the w.t.o. how is china being held accountable? >> it is the last stop if you have a legal problem with the country. if u.s. objects to what china is doing, you can approach them at sum myths and pressure them to try to change course. if none of that works, they are a backstop, you could say, all right, failed to settle our differences, so we are going to launch litigation under the w.t.o. and how that happens is first the two sides will hold formal confrontations, and try to work it out.
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trade experts will look at the issue and determine whether or not china is violating w.t.o. rules. there are mechanisms that can be appealed but there will be a decision on whether the u.s. is right or not. host: when they make this decision, what are the consequences? guest: means that china would have to change course for instance. not global government in that way. what it does mean if china were to lose this case and decided i would rather keep my subsidies in place, even though the w.t.o. has said they violate w.t.o. rules, it can be granted specific measures to take against china. those are called measures taken in response to an adverse ruling and could be designed to limit chinese imports of a particular good into the united states by hiking import tariffs and fear
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is that this would be economically hurtful for china and disincentive to not comply. host: does the w.t.o. put out fines against the country? guest: no fines and a country can always say i choose not to comply. but there is some institutional pressure to comply. in addition to what the w.t.o. may grant in terms of measures, the u.s. and others, see this as a mechanism to govern global trade and lay the rules of the road and enforce those rules. there is a pressure that w.t.o. members exert among themselves and it is in their best interest to make sure that generally speaking, people are complying. host: how has china responded in the past and how did china respond yesterday? guest: in the past, china, in
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many instances -- in some instances, they decided to say even before the matter goes to arbitration, we recognize there is a problem and we'll take the offending measure. in many other instances where the u.s. has challenged china, we don't know yet because the litigation is playing out. china only joined the w.t.o. in 2001 and these cases can take years. many of the cases brought by president obama are still playing out. so it's a little bit uncertain how all of these are going to be reefled. but one thing to your point, yesterday, china, again kind of showed how it's been responding to many of these cases, which is when the u.s. launches a legal action against china, china in many instances is launching a legal action right back. and this is something that is
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troubling to the white house and obama administration generally. they don't think this is a good example to set. they charge that the cases that kline is bringing back against the u.s. are frivolous and puts a strain. host: talking about a trade war here over this issue? guest: i wouldn't call it a trade war but worrying for the administration if this trend were to continue and it did continue yesterday. this is a worrying thing that people in washington and beyond will be keeping their eye on. we have seen china do this. we have seen ar again tinel tina file -- argentina file a case. host: we showed you the headline. chinese leaders are under internal pressure to appear as tough and please the military.
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they are facing off with japan and other regional powers over several pacific islands. secretary panetta walked into the dispute when he arrived on monday. he is supposed to meet on wednesday. i want to show you what governor romney had to seyyed when he was in los angeles about how his administration -- potential administration would handle the china issue. >> i will pursue a comprehensive policy and confront them about their unfair trade practices and i will do that from day one. the president may think that announcing new trade lawsuits less than two months before the election will distract from his record, but american businesses and workers struggling on an
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uneven playing field know better. host: how would his policies differ from what the administration is doing? guest: most obvious one, what mitt romney has said he would be interested on day one naming china as a currency manipulator. this is a very hot topic in washington and beyond. most economists believe that china is manipulating its currency to some extent. how much, there is room for debate. the difference is, by naming china, you are uping the ante there and doing something that will probably elicit some sort of reaction in beijing. whether or not that is a good idea is up for debate. he has tried to draw a clear difference between himself and president obama. president obama hasn't formally
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said china is a currency manipulator. but he has urged china to continue making progress. host: by saying that officially, does that trigger a trade war and what is a trade war? guest: trade war, that term seems to pop up whenever countries files dispute against each other. host: have you ever seen a trade war? guest: not personally. host: through the w.t.o., has there been a trade war? guest: it's hard to know what a trade war means. u.s. files a dispute against china and china files a dispute against u.s. and people say are we in a trade war? when we have other problems with other countries and think they
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aren't living up to their commitments, arbitration is a part of that process. host: why and when the w.t.o. was formed in a first place. guest: the w.t.o. came into being in the mid-1990's and it has two functions. one function is this arbitration function, to make sure countries have a forum when they say you aren't living up the to the commitments, we can arbitrate and have a panel tell us their view. and they lay down the rules in the first place. govern global trade and in theory, members are going to be updating the rules to make them even stronger for global trade going forward. host: let's go to our first phone call. a democrat caller in detroit,
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michigan. caller: we are 2.3 in gross national product and we have a 5.1 g.d.p. growth rate. since 1975, which was the last year that we had a trade surplus -- policies through the w.t.o., nafta, most favored trading status and oil exploration. i heard that 50,000 plants are lost to foreign competition. the question is how come no one noticed when it was 3,000? guest: those are two good and interesting points for debate.
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the first relates to the sovreignty issue, how does w.t.o. affect sovreignty and second of all the trade deficit. on the sovreignty issue, opponents argue that sovereign decisions by countries can be affected but the point i made earlier which is whatever the w.t.o. does and member country in terms of arbitration saying you are breaking the rules, a member country can say i choose not to. they can always choose not to, which is an important point to make. on the trade deficit, there is an issue that the u.s. has seen its trade increase and deficits increase with china since they joined in 2001. this is cause for some concern,
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especially critics of the w.t.o. they said if our trade deficit is going up, what is the impact on u.s. jobs. like every sure here, it seems this one is a complicated one. this reflects goods coming from china to the united states. many of the goods coming from china are produced by u.s. companies that have invested in china, take advantage of low wage rates, any number of reasons. even those imports from china to the united states, they could be benefiting u.s. companies. it is complicated. host: trade deficit with china, july, 2012, $174 billion. james a republican in wisconsin, you are up next. dave, you have to turn that
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television down. midland, texas, karla, independent caller, go ahead. caller: do you think we are putting this on public? host: what do you mean? >> do you think we are putting this in public and put us in harm's way and couldn't this escalate and plus talking about dictatorship and we are dictating to south america -- shouldn't we just keep our mouths shut? host: this might bring more trouble for our country and lodge complaints against us? caller: yes. guest: it is a very complicated decision making process within the administration of when do you decide, ok, i have gone through diplomatic channels and
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talked to officials and i have decided to launch public legal action under the w.t.o., when do you decide to do that. at any given moment, the obama administration is examining decisions, that one day they could launch a case on. in this case, i think the obama administration would say it had tried more behind-the-scenes efforts with china and can't reach a resolution on a topic they consider important and would have economic benefits for the united states, they say we have to take legal action because like i said, they do provide that backstop if you can't convince the country to change course. >> one billion cars and parts
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subsidies between 2009 and 2011. that is the figure that the obama administration put out yesterday saying that is why they are lodging this complaint with the world trade organization and our topic in the last 25 minutes, looking at the role of the w.t.o. james, a republican, back to you in wisconsin, go ahead. caller: my biggest problem with the whole situation, three months before the election, all of a sudden you are hearing something about this? it's really amazing how all of a sudden this has been an issue for a long time. it should have been day one that he should have been saying something about this. w.t.o., we need to get out of it and start making everything in america. back in the 1950's, we made everything in this country. amazing how politicians have sold us down the road for so
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long and the effects are starting to take hold. host: first move by the obama administration against china through the w.t.o.? guest: not the first move. it has been talked a lot when the obama administration decided to go forward, was this a political move, announce it this close to the election and president obama mentioning this in ohio. it should be said that president obama has launched a series of enforcement cases against china since he took office. so this isn't anything new in that regard. i believe he has initiated just in the w.t.o. eight formal proceedings against china and this one is the latest one. so it's not totally new in that regard, but of course people in washington are trying to draw political connections because of where we are in the campaign
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season. host: the caller mentioned we should get out. how many countries are in the w.t.o.? guest: 157 countries in it right now. 157 members. and that encompasses most of the countries that are major trading partners with the united states. there are some countries like iran or iraq or libya, who are not w.t.o. members, but people like the united states, china, argentina, brazil, thailand, it's a very wide swath of members and you can achieve withdrawal and this is an option and talked about periodically in washington, but you have to weigh the costs and benefits. if you with draw, you wouldn't be able to do what the obama administration announced yesterday is launch legal
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investigations. if you were not subject to w.t.o. rules and a country did something you didn't like, you could just say well, i'll hurt their exports, for instance. but in that scenario, you are outside of the system and outside of a group of world members that are trying to regulate trade and make sure it's fair as possible for everyone. host: how is the w.t.o. paid for, how do they get their money? guest: member-driven and member-funded organization. the members pay for it. different members pay different amounts. united states pays more significant amounts than a smaller economy. it is head quartered in geneva and w.t.o. members have representation there to work out the differences. host: how do you become a member of the w.t.o., ruin vited or
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voted upon? guest: sometimes it could take years to join the w.t.o. and the reason it could take so long, countries have to go through a formal process. we saw this most recently with russia and after two decades of negotiations was finally admitted just last month in august. it's a long process where you have to negotiate with all other w.t.o. members. first of all, what are the terms that i'm going to come in under. this is a chance for members to negotiate with you and get better access to your markets and tons of technical work that has to be done to bring you in form alley as a new member. host: john, albuquerque, new mexico, democrats' line. caller: very interesting that i don't think you are painting the whole picture of the w.t.o. number one, how many members of the w.t.o. trade with iran even
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though there is an embargo with iran? the only time there was trade is when bill clinton ran against the first george bush. he went on tv and my generation supported him and as soon as he got in there, he gave us nafta. w.t.o. is a corporation to control markets. host: that's -- let's get a response. guest: first point, the w.t.o. and its members do encompass most of world trade. i mentioned a couple of countries that aren't w.t.o. members. if you think the vast majority, yes, they are w.t.o. members. it does have a very wide representation. it's also true that we have joined the w.t.o. and you might not seekonk every single year
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debating should we be in, should we not. that comes up periodically. but when you're in, maybe this is a background. but again, the caller raised some of the concerns that people express about being in the w.t.o. what does it mean, is this a tool for corporations and does it benefit big business or average working people. these are debates that we are even more intense in the 1990's when the w.t.o. first came into being and the late 1990's especially. some of the protests in that period were quite intense indeed. host: here is a tweet. china's population is four times ours. by simple logic there should be plenty of room for chinese goods in chinese markets so why not. mike in honolulu, you are up next.
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caller: aloha. i have been watching this w.t.o. thing and it's pretty interesting. i'm for the w.t.o. and of course a level playing field, but looks like the chinese want to have their cake and eat it, too. they have us over the barrel because of the economy and our so-called president that is taking care of us and obviously he just wants michelle in there for another four years and keep her happy. any way, over here, the economy and looks like mr. obama is going to be re-elected and we are going to have to lower 20% on currency and that would adjust things immediately and of course will set the world on its fanny for a while but that's the realism of it.
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host: lower our currency 20%, what do you make of that? guest: i think the caller, there are two currency questions here. we have long alleged that china is manipulating its currency and the caller is talking about actions announced by the fed. i would not touch on that because i'm not an expert on. more quality people can speak to that. i will speak to the first point, china and the w.t.o. can have its cake and eat it, too. i think what the caller is talking about is something that president obama and mitt romney both agree on, republicans and democrats both agree, if china joined the w.t.o., it has not lived up to all the w.t.o. rules. that is something that has bipartisan consensus and mitt romney and president obama say i'm tough on china and will take
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china to task and make sure that they live up to these rules. it's agreement, the agreement to become a member called for a lot of the forums across the chinese economy -- doesn't have a market-based economy. that was asking a lot of china and we are still in the process of seeing china trying to adopt and live into the w.t.o. rules. host: is it fair to say there is no such thing as trade deficit. it's not a debt any way. david, independent, michigan. caller: i was calling in regards to -- they finished that oil pipeline from alaska to canada.
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they found the motherlode of oil thrup and they talk about this global economy. now they are taking the oil from alaska down to the gulf there so they can get it out to other countries and stuff, but can't use ships up there in alaska -- host: how does this will relate to our conversation about the world trade organization? caller: they say we import 60% of our oil and coal but it's the other way around. we actually export 60%. and oil, other sides of the world. and it should have brought our gasoline down to 60 cents a gallon. how they continue to use the other side of the world to drive up our fuel prices here.
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guest: in terms of oil trade in north america and its possible intersections with w.t.o. issues or rules, i have to plead ignorance on that one. host: san diego, john, democratic karl. caller: these free trade agreements are the very poison that put the most vulnerable americans out of work and how the democratic leaders betrayed them. the democrats were supportive of the unions and when the tree trade agreements came around the democrats in congress and white house betrayed their party by making it legal to do that. we used to trade with people that had the same standards and rights that we did, but now it's always been a republican wet dream to do away with the unions
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via this route. host: free trade agreements, nafta and the like, are they recognized by the w.t.o. and given the ok by the w.t.o.? guest: under w.t.o. rules, members are allowed to negotiate their own bilateral or regional agreements, which are going to set up preferential terms of trade under the u.s., canada and mexico and united states does this, too. part of the reason is because the w.t.o. is a large organization, 157 members. if you can imagine how tough it would be to get them to agree to anything, it's pretty tough. countries go off and do their own thing in the meantime. and that's allowed. there are specific reasons to say, as long as you meet certain criteria and covering all trade
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for instance between two trading partners, that's perfectly ok and countries do that all the time. what the caller is raising is an interesting point, when you negotiate these bilateral trade deals outside of the w.t.o., we have to bring them back to congress for approval. and trade remains a controversial topic, absolutely. but in congress right now, there are clearly or had been in the past couple of years, enough votes to pass these agreements. many democrats will vote against them, but ultimately, they have extremely strong republican support and saw that in the trade deal passed in october with south korea. they have some support on the democratic side of the aisle, enough to basically ensure passage once they come up. hence this feeling as the caller was expressing that while many democrats may be skeptical of trade agreements there is
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support to pass them. host: does the w.t.o. deal with labor standards, environmental standards, when it comes to trade? guest: not nearly to the same extent that the u.s. there is some language in w.t.o. rules relating to environmental protection, but and have been a leader on those types of issues trying to push the ball forward. but many other countries, especially developing countries feel that strong labor standards, strong environmental standards, that's just really developed country ways to try to limit imports to say, well, in india, you have to live up to these tough labor standards in order to import goods to the united states. that conversation has not gone too far in the w.t.o. at least yet, but in our own bilateral accords, by contrast, especially recently, the obama administ